Currently browsing Posts Published February 2012

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My Sketchy Chickadee

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I needed to bust out a quick sketch, so I came up with another exercise: Open up a movie, jump to a random frame with my eyes closed, then do a 5-minute gesture drawing of whatever I land on.

I got lucky and ended up with this fun and challenging image of W.C. fields shooting billiards in “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”

The 86th Street Zoo

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Some quick gesture sketches I made while looking out the window of the Coffee Bean this morning. I was especially fascinated by the worker who made several trips with very long boxes perched on his shoulder, and the old guy with a cane who literally turned his left foot 90 degrees as he ambled forward.

Sir @JoshKittle of Twitter

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

So this fellow on Twitter asked if I do any work for hire; he wanted a cartoon avatar for his online persona. I offered to do it for free, not just because I’m a swell guy, but also because I’d prefer to practice without the obligation to get it “right” that comes with getting paid. Hopefully he likes it, but regardless, it was a fun exercise.

I think what was especially tricky about this for me was that I don’t know him personally, and the two photos he provided offer very little insight to his personality.┬áHe did tell me he works in IT, and suggested the smoking soldering iron.


If you have 30 minutes, you should watch this cool documentary on the insane amount of effort pro caricaturist John Kascht puts into researching his subjects–in this case, Conan O’Brien:

The Most Important Election Of Our Lifetime

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Hey look, the comic strip contest has begun! Click here to browse through the entries and vote. I suggest you vote for the one with the bear jumping out of a box, because that’s just hilarious. (If you get bored browsing the other strips, search for “Kerkel”.)

Lotta Tata


Thought I’d switch gears today and work on a litte photo restoration. This is a portion of a yearbook photo from the 1970s, when Tata came out of retirement to become a high school teacher. It’s not that the photo is in bad shape, but it’s printed in a low-res halftone, so there’s not a whole lot of detail. I thought it’d be fun to try to recreate what the original photo may have looked like.

To guide me, and to salvage some of the tone, I started by blurring the original photo to the point where you can’t see the dots. Then I painted back in the details by referring to the original. Obviously I’ve got a ways to go before it’s passably photorealistic, but I’ll continue plugging away.


Van Dork

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

This week’s homework assignment was to do a portrait utilizing the composition from a painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So, Friday morning I ducked into the museum for about 15 minutes and settled on Anthony Van Dyck’s portrait of Lucas Van Uffel.

Instead of working in charcoal, this week I decided to dive into the risky world of permanent ink, using Copic multiliners and sketch markers. I only had to use white-out a couple of times.


Best Buds

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Couldn’t leave that one unfinished! Not that this is “finished,” but now it’s on to art class homework. I’ll put that up tomorrow.

What, no Cosby sweater?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Just a little very rough sketch of Tata’s successful trip to the suburbs of Sacramento.

Now Back to Your Occasionally Scheduled Sanity

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

So, not only have I been cartooning like a madman, I’ve also been sticking to the 7 am wakeup schedule I started a while back. (When was that? It’s all a blur.) If you happen to notice that i sometimes post close to 3am, you probably already realize that I’ve been racking up quite the sleep deficit!

So, in celebration of finishing my 10 strips, as well as consideration for my remaining brain cells I’m going to push it to 9am tomorrow. Woohoo! Aaand, snore.

Panel O’ The Day

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Don’t worry, whenever the comic seems like it might be getting sappy, I ruin it with a snarky punchline. But enjoy this brief bit of cuteness.

9 down, 1 to go. Mercifully, I found out that I actually have until Saturday to submit. However, I’m still going to try to have them all finished by Wednesday night, so I have time on Thurs/Fri to work on my art class homework.